Saturday, February 29, 2020

Bizarro: The Comic with Balls

Happy Leap Day, Jazz Pickles. This is one of those years when you get an extra cartoon, at no additional charge.

As we wait to see if March makes its traditional leonine entrance, let's take a glance back at our most recent cartoons.

We kicked off the week with an unauthorized cameo by the great magician Teller. He's not as short as we've shown here, but he's often thought of as being a small person since he's normally seen beside his 6'6" partner, Penn Jillette. 

I spent quite a bit of time working on the caricature, since the gag would have failed completely if the drawing didn't look like the actual person.

The day this comic appeared, Bizarro Studios received a lovely email from Teller himself, who said he was honored to appear in Bizarro. Both Penn and Teller tweeted the cartoon to their many thousands of followers.

Penn Jillette also tweeted news that Teller is returning to work after having undergone three back surgeries, and is feeling fine. We wish him the best of health as he gets back in the swing of things.

If you've ever wondered what Teller's voice sounds like, check out his 1997 interview on Fresh Air.

What's up with him using a single name, though?

We all sound like idiots when we speak to our pets. Thankfully, they don't judge us.

They met on the dating site OK Cryptid.

Some readers didn't recognize the character as Bigfoot, and in fact it is tricky to draw the famous beast without either showing his feet, or having him assume the famous striding pose from the 1967 amateur film.

I just realized that this caption is redundant.

Friday's gag offers up a new expression: "I feel like a bowling ball on a billiard table." 

Feel free to use it as you see fit. It might make a good country or blues song.

Sometimes cosmetic surgery comes with perks, such as a colorful garnish for the dinner plate.

That wraps up the latest batch of foolishness from Bizarro Studios North. Thank you for following the comic, for your comments, and for going above and beyond by reading my weekly ramblings.

Dan Piraro also shares commentary on his weekly post, where you can also check out his latest widescreen Bizarro Sunday page.

Bonus Track

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Plumber's Little Helper

Since television no longer offers Saturday morning cartoons, Bizarro Studios brings you an assortment of the non-animated variety. Gather 'round your screen of choice with a bowl of your favorite sugar-laden cereal, and check out Uncle Wayno's latest laffpix.

He may regret the tattoo he chose as a child, but on the plus side, he hasn't had a cigarette since he was six.

After earlier experiments with Ban-Lon candy, the Textile Confectionery Company realized that polyester retains its shape better.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit that I would probably listen to this band. Also, as a ukulele player, I empathize with these characters.

This could have been even worse than the Monday after Paintball Weekend.

On Friday, we offered our take on a popular trope among gag cartoonists.

We almost got through an entire week without a cat or dog gag. Don't tell the little pup, but that's just a placebo cone. 

I apologize for the relative brevity of this week's post. I had to keep it short so I can run out to load up the band wagon for a Mardi Gras gig tonight.

Don't forget to visit Dan Piraro's blog, for further analysis and commentary from Bizarro Studios World HQ, at Rancho Bizarro, Mexico. While you're there, you can admire his latest Bizarro Sunday page, and snag yourself some Jazz Pickle paraphernalia from the official Bizarro Shop.

Bonus Track

Ernie Felice shows off his accordion chops on Raymond Scott's classic composition, "Powerhouse."

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Don't Take That Tone with Me

We hope you had a suitably romantic Valentine's Day, if you go in for that particular celebration. Like many modern holidays, it appears to have been based on an old pagan festival. describes the original fest, Lupercalia, as "a bloody, violent and sexually-charged celebration awash with animal sacrifice, random matchmaking and coupling in the hopes of warding off evil spirits and infertility."

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Let's see if this week's Bizarro cartoons can get some love.

Perhaps we'll see if  we can get #MondayPunday to trend.

Well, maybe not.

I carry a sketchbook and draw or write something in it every day. When I'm ready to start working on a new week of Bizarro cartoons, I'll flip through it to see what sparks ideas for gags. This one sprang from a scribbled note reading "word balloon part of physical reality." 

That's not exactly what I did in the gag, but that note provided a starting point for a series of mental stepping stones that eventually led to the idea of presenting the reader with a balloon resembling a chalkboard to represent the character's "teacher voice."

Sometimes tidying up gets complicated.

On Wednesday, we leapt from teacher voice to mom voice. I've heard parents say that they feel like ATMs, and wondered if the opposite could be true.
My favorite little extra in this gag is the bathroom sign. A couple of readers commented that this must be a "Residents Only" restroom. Of course if that were true, the figure on the sign would have been wearing a top hat.

For Valentine's Day, we offered a Bizarro version of a romance comic book.

We all know that domestic dogs and cats are masters at manipulating their human companions. Saturday's gag showcases a classic technique.

Please don't let my cats know that I revealed this.

Don't forget to take a peek at Dan Piraro's weekly blog post, and fall in love with his latest Bizarro Sunday page. Unfortunately, something went wrong when he was composing this post, and all of his comments on the cartoons were lost. So, this week, you'll have to take my word on all of these gags.

Bonus Track

The wonderful musician and singer Petra Haden covers the "God Only Knows," one of the most achingly beautiful and melancholy love songs ever written.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Burning Love

Last Sunday, the groundhog predicted an early Spring, which wasn't a difficult call, since the last five years were collectively the five hottest on record. That could change, though, if maniacal national leaders (ours included) bring about a nuclear winter.

With that cheery thought in mind, let's seek comic relief in this week's Bizarro cartoons.

When love blooms, it's not easy to contain oneself.

The Reaper moves beyond the shroud, and goes for a bespoke (bespook?) ensemble.

To an outsider, a martial arts contest can seem to be mostly performative, not unlike the dramatic, playful sparring of domestic felines.

For Throwback Thursday, we returned to Spudville for a family therapy session. 

The elder tuber wonders, "What's up with these tots today?"

We're all about the swings from high to low humor here at Bizarro Studios, and despite frequent references to literature, mythology, and art history, we still embrace our inner schoolkid, and are sometimes compelled to do a poo joke.

This gag employs the often-pretentious language of oenology, a topic we've tweaked in the past, even before joining up to do Bizarro

As amusing as wine-tasting notes can be, I discovered a few years ago that Scotch whisky drinkers are even more extreme in their descriptions.

Corporate-speak is everywhere, even stuffy, old-time businesses like this one.

Thanks, as always for your readership and comments. Come back in a week for a fresh batch of gags. Don't forget to cruise over to Dan Piraro's blog to check out his latest Bizarro Sunday page, which is always magnificent.

Bonus Track

Slim Gaillard, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and author of The Vout-O-Reenee Dictionary, lifts our spirits with a jazzy ode to The Bomb.

Saturday, February 01, 2020

You Ain't Nothin' But a Groundhog

Today is Groundhog Eve. Early tomorrow morning, a group of top-hatted loonies will gather in a small town less than a hundred miles from Bizarro Studios North to determine when spring weather will arrive. We wish the rodent forecaster the best of luck in making any meteorological prediction in the current climate, however long that may last.

One thing you can depend on is that our blog post will always have six recent cartoons to review together.
This is a condition rarely encountered by pediatric veterinarians.

Tuesday's gag struck a chord with readers who've had to attend mandatory fun sessions at work. I've you've ever been subjected to this form of corporate torture, you might consider a visit from GR preferable to paintball-karaoke, a golf scramble, or an escape room "experience."

We followed up on Wednesday with another workplace/death gag. 

I drew this under the assumption that new arrivals to the Underworld show up naked, but I'm not sure where I got that idea. 

It's a well-known phenomenon that any food heated in a communal microwave oven will produce a stench that can spread through a building floor of any size.

My attempt at drawing the oft-referenced "shit-eating grin."

A reader on the King Features site pointed out (correctly) that 1-877-GRAFTY couldn't possibly be a real phone number, since it only has six characters after the area code. That was, of course, intentional.

Two-dimensional composite drawings are passé. Spudville PD uses the latest in tuber technology to identify suspects.

Someone unknowingly served this unfortunate fellow a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal.

Thanks, as always, for reading Bizarro, and for making your way through the weekly review. Don't forget to visit my partner Dan Piraro's blog, where he offers his own comments on these gags, and unveils his latest gorgeous Sunday Bizarro page.

Bonus Track
"Groundhog," by Homer & Jethro

Regular readers know of my fondness for Homer & Jethro. This traditional number was originally released as a 78 in 1947. I have it on a few early LPs of varying quality and legality.
Photo courtesy of the Bizarro Studios North Archive

Further Listening
While searching for the Homer & Jethro video, I ran across several other recordings of "Groundhog," including fine versions by The Watson Family, Doc Watson, and The Dillards.